Ms. Buyi M Pheto, High
Commissioner for South Africa in Sri Lanka accompanied by M L Makwabe,
Counsellor (Political) visited the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri
Lanka on an invitation by the Chamber President D Eassuwaren, on 15th
September, 2008. The meeting was attended by Lal de Alwis, Senior Deputy
President, Ms. Nirmali Samaratunga, Immediate Past President, Sujeeva
Samaraweera, Council member and the Senior officials of the Chamber.
Discussions were focused on the development of bilateral trade between the
two countries. She mentioned that the High Commission is now in full
operation in Sri Lanka including issuance of visa to Sri Lankans visiting
South Africa. She said that the Small and Medium Sector is a vibrant
sector in the South African economy. She wanted to share her knowledge and
experience on Small and Medium Enterprises in South Africa with the Sri
Lankans. . D. Essuweren, the Chamber president mentioned that Sri Lanka’s
major exports to South Africa are tea, textiles, used tyres, natural
rubber, activated carbon, apparel and clothing accessories, desiccated
coconut, tableware, kitchenware, raw coconut fiber, fruits and vegetables.
Our major imports from South Africa are iron or steel, asbestos,
polypropylene, paper and paperboard, mineral fuel and oil waxes, grapes,
apples, boilers and machinery parts, organic chemicals, corn starch, and
man made staple fibers.
South Africa has become the most important trading partner of Sri Lanka
in the African region. The two way trade has expanded substantially over
the last decades. However, the balance of trade between Sri Lanka and
South Africa is in favour of South Africa. The Ambassador said that there
is a good demand in South Africa for Sri Lankan tea. Green tea is becoming
popular among South African consumers. She wished to have a regular
dialogue with the National Chamber and provide trade information to the
Chamber. She also requested a list of Sri Lankan products available for
export to South Africa to enable to pass on to the South African buyers.
The President D Eassuweren invited a delegation to the Ayurveda and Herbal
Exhibition to be conducted by the National Chamber in May 2009.
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